Today was the first day of classes. My students sat sleepy and a little shell-shocked as they introduced each other and went over the syllabus. Just like every year.
This year was a little different for me, though. Today was my first day working part-time. Half way through the day, I gathered my things and left. Without my own classroom, leaving as everyone continues on with their day, and aware that halfway through the year I will be out for several weeks or perhaps longer, feels strange. I have always been one of the first to arrive on campus, and generally one of the very last to leave. I have become accustomed to kids hanging out in my classroom for hours after school, waiting for rides home from parents, waiting for the game to start, looking for somewhere to be. It felt strange today to explain to so many who came by that I am only half-time. Halfway here. Already halfway replaced.
The original plan was to spend afternoons working on things for the business; to maintain my certification and insurance while moving on to something new. Halfway out the door. While that is still the plan, it has been altered a bit; half the day now being dedicated to getting things finished around the house and preparing for the baby. To be honest, I’m not totally certain what the “preparing for the baby” part entails. Sewing, undoubtedly. Available time for the appointments which will increase in frequency in October and November. Organizing everything to make our lives easier for those months when we won’t sleep. Perhaps it is just so I can slow down enough to wrap my head around all of this.
Today, I felt a little lost, frankly. I stopped by the library to pick up some books I had placed on hold, then picked up a cup of tea and wandered into a baby consignment store, wondering if there is anything I need for this child still. (It turns out there is. And a lot I don’t need, but they will happily sell to me.) I came home, had a bowl of soup, and took a nap. Now I’m blearily staring at the computer, realizing that normally I’m not home for another two hours.
I’m sure I will adjust. Or I will start subbing in the afternoons until I get too large or exhausted to do so, or until she arrives, whichever comes first. Either way, this schedule will only persist for about three months or so. It still feels so strange to realize that I am heading into my sixth month of pregnancy, and it is already more than halfway done.